Mckeesport School District responds after cancellation of bus routes

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Parents in McKeesport told Channel 11 it started with a message each morning posted to the school district’s Facebook page.

“They tell us the day of, so you have work, stuff to do that just kind of stops everything,” said Athena Robinson.

Robinson said day after day that post reads Bus 12 will not run. She’s tired of her three children not having a way to get to school.

“It’s hard - one of my kids is autistic and used to a set schedule. Waking up and going to school and having a set structure so then I have to take it into my own hands and be the teacher,” Robinson said.

That route is one of eight that consistently gets canceled. Superintendent Dr. Mark Holtzman said the changes are coming from the bus company last minute and the district is trying to find any solution.

“The bus company Mr. Sunstein shared with me it would cost twice as much money, twice as much fuel and drivers to circulate the buses through the community more than one time,” Holtzman said.

When asked about the issue, the owner of PA Coach Lines told Channel 11 his drivers have COVID-19. He said last week he had more than 20 drivers out and there is nothing more he can do.

“How long is this going to go on? Put yourself in our shoes if you are the parent do you want your child missing two to three weeks of school? This has been going on since September,” Robinson said.

The district does offer a remote learning option, but students would have to switch for a full nine weeks. With the unknown of which bus route will be canceled, parents said they don’t want to pull their kids out if the problem is going to be fixed.